Monday, April 27, 2009

What's So Bad About Cussing

Q: Why is cursing so bad? If the word is used without meaning harm to anyone, then who would be offended? Also, if curse words change with the times then wouldn’t any word I use in place of a curse word be just as bad?

A: Cursing is almost always wrong because you are usually doing it in a hateful or violent way. Even doing it out of habit is not a good thing, because when you are angry you will use bad words out of hate and violence. The Bible tells us that if we can’t say anything nice, we shouldn’t say anything at all (Sir. 19:10). It also tells us to use proper language by ourselves and around others (Jas 1:19). Chapter 3 of James is a good read. It’s all about taming our tongues, as also are the chapters of 19 to 23 in Sirach.

Most of the time curse words don’t change over time, usually someone just adds a new word to use as a curse. Yes, using another word in place of a bad word is just as wrong as using the real thing, because you are doing it with meaning you’re doing it with anger. If you stubbed your toe and said “OH SHOOT!!!” that’s not bad, because you are reacting out of surprise and you’re not even saying anything wrong. But if you were angry about something and you replaced a curse with a regular word that would still be bad because you are trying to be offensive.

So the answer to your question is: cursing is wrong, even if you’re saying it without meaning. Because you know the word you are using is wrong but you are saying it anyway. And if you use a word in place of a curse word that is just as bad as a curse. But if you use a regular word when you are surprised or something like that then it is not wrong because you are not using a curse word, and because you are not using that word out of anger and offense.